General > Owner-Builder Projects

My 15.75 x 30 Jemez Cabin

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Since this topic was started the image host I used has made a change. The stored images are still on the host but they have disabled allowing the images to be viewed on a forum. So there are lots of missing images. As much as I would like to re-host them to have them show here, that is a huge task and I do not want to take the time to move and relink each one. As of this edit, the images are still hosted on photobucket and photobucket is still in business. They are just not allowing the images to be used on 3rd party sites like this forum.

However, there is a way to view the images. Right click on the replacement ‘warning’ image and then select view image in new tab. That will open the image in a photobucket page. That works with the Chrome browser. I have noticed it does not work with the edge browser. No idea about other browsers. 

This is the first post in my cabin topic, however this index at the the top was inserted May, 2010 and has been added to since then. The actual first post commences below the ~~~~~~~ line below.  It was suggested by an admirer that I add a sort of an index.

This is listed in chronological order; alphabetical would be ideal, but that's a bigger project than I want at this time.   ;D  Some of these links may require you to scroll down slightly. 

FYI: Since I first conceived this idea of building a cabin with my wife, I have learned many things. I would have built a better cabin if I had known some of these things before beginning. The main thing that would have been done different and better is the foundation. As you shall see we built using a pier and beam foundation similar to many other projects seen in many places on the internet. A pier and beam, or post and beam if you will, is not the best, not the most solid foundation. Pier and beam foundations are not recognized by any of the building codes used in the USA. They are permitted if the design is approved by a state licensed engineer. That will cost more than doing a prescribed foundation as outlined in the building codes. Anyhow, read on, enjoy! Just keep in mind that just because you see it on the internet that does not make it the best solution.

Last edited 12/30/2016

Gazebo is started   
The Chimnea in the gazebo; chimney mount, metal heat shields   
Gazebo Cupola construction   
Generator enclosure     
Starting on the shed construction   
Sun-Mar installed in the shed         
The solar PV panel pole installed     
Clearing space for the cabin   
The cabin site just about ready to build on   
The cabin posts in place, built up beams     
The first time I explained how the cabin evolved to being 15.75 ft wide   ;D
Floor joists in place, floor sheathing, first walls
Why I don't recommend covering your floor with plastic or tarps to try and keep it dry from the rain   
Rafters, roof sheathing, tight wall felt     
Door and a window in place and flashed     
First shot of roughed in interior
Wiring the interior begins     
Rain and more rain. Pocket door for bathroom discussion   
Notes and talk on flashing the door and windows   
The Vermont Castings Aspen wood stove, propane hookup with auto changeover RV regulator   
24 VDC to 12 VDC Solar Converters solid state voltage converter
The exterior electrical panel temporary hookup. Some wiring examples   
The metal roof panels go on, paid casual labor
Finished chimney, fire in the Aspen     
Forum friends visit, more lectrical, insulation batts in the walls   
RCH DC voltage ceiling fan 
Start on the plumbing     
Walls insulated, Ceiling insulation started
Our volcano. Working on installing the ceiling T&G   
Ceiling complete and clear coated. Cabinets stained green   
Exterior; starting the Hardie cement fiber board trim     
Drywall roughed in   
Solo Sider tool, very handy for hanging the hardie Plank siding by oneself         
The first installment of the siding completed and painted     
Hardie backer board on the floor   
more ceiling work, redwood     
Winter is closing in, we move in some furniture. The RCH ceiling fan installed.   
Kitchen counter, sink. More interior shots     
Coat rack by door   
Haul parts up the hill in snow. Install cabinet doors   
Year end 2008. Snowmobile gets stuck.   
I buy the big inverter, Outback VFX3524M   
The inverter purchase spawns the Off Grid Power Topic   
Outback Charge Controller    
PV panels bought    
Basic bed frame/box   
Snowmobile retrieval   
Fresh air inlet for the Aspen wood stove       
Solar panels installed on pole     
Fire. May 2009   
Karen tells the story of the fire     
West wall T&G completed at last     
Muffin fan, turbocharger, for the wood stove   
Redwood window trim, interior     
Floor tile start     
Bed base completed, installed   
Start on the porch   
Improved trash burn barrel, kitchen range, door trim   
Soffits, Hardie board perforated for ventilation
Start the propane and battery storage; Energy Center   
RV water heater, cutting hole through wall for installation     
Servel refrigerator installed. Water heater details   
Bought a game camera   
Propane, battery Energy Center construction   
Water Cistern   
Energy Center     
More on water cistern     
Porch Roof     
Cable and conduit from cabin to solar PV panels   
Energy Center completed, locking bar details, Charge Controller, Inverter   
Battery Bank Buss Bars in Off Grid Power Topic
More on the Battery Bank Connections in Off Grid Power Topic
Drawing Illustrating the PV System Components and Connections in Off Grid Power Topic
A Neater Drawing of the PV Power System in Off Grid Power Topic
Sink drain, exterior   
Water heater     
Oasis water pump on cistern   
Battery Bank hookups     
Charge Controller, Inverter     
Water Pump to cabin hose setup     
Installing the propane direct vent wall heater     
We find a shortcut for snowshoeing to the cabin when the snow is too deep to drive through   
Deep snow and Frozen Cistern pump standpipe     
Totaled up the build expenses
View of undersink plumbing with "what I might do different"
Shower almost done at last
More on the Shower and Bathroom
Copper sheet under wood stove
Shower all done, curtain hardware arrived
Electric power added to gazebo
Tool for trail work
An Experiment: Keep Food From Freezing in Winter
Pine board Gazebo ceiling
Changes to Cistern Water Pump

LED Christmas Lights
LED General Exterior Illumination Lighting
Keeping Food NOT Frozen
And Problems with the heater


Here's what I've been planning, thinking, etc. It's basically 14 x 26 ft, with a bumpout at the wood stove. It's all one room more or less with a divider that would be something like 5 1/2 to 6 feet tall to set the bed off to the side sorta. There are some unconventional details. The use of an RV type combined shower, toilet, sink is the main one. Yes it is rather small, but we have gotten used to living in an RV over the past dozen years or so and travelling most of each summer. This is much the same, only permanently parked.

"Parked" off in the boonies where I do not expect to have many uninvited visitors. I have one and only one nearby neighbor who is equally "offstream". We're of such an age we have trouble remembering where the county offices are located, among other things.

There will also be a porch at the front end (left) that will be covered by an extension of the metal roof. Electrical power by solar. Wood stove as main heat. Propane RV furnace as backup.

Part of the acreage after light recent snowfall; woodpile from selected collected deadfall.

Beautiful site!  What state was that again?  Altitude?  (you've probably posted that before but as you were saying memory fails sometimes...  :-/  Looks like an economical use of space to me  :).

This is in northern New Mexico, about 8600 foot elevation

looking east along northern property line

Jeep parked

looking south thru the rainy mist, logpile of cleared up dead fall

old logging road, runs east - west across property

dead tired woodcutter Don

You had me at "Hello"!

Beautiful site, great plan.


Nice idea!  What is the closest town?  Are you planning to dig a well and install a septic system?  Sorry for so many questions.  Your idea is a GOOD one!  


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